Provo Utah, USA
I remember spending my senior year of high school at the gas station when I was supposed to be in class. I would spend my time obsessively wondering the aisles of the grocery store, my mind counting the calories of food and memorizing their labels. After finally buying an item, I would eat it in my car and then go to the gas station to purge it, along with taking laxatives and diuretics to "get rid of the rest." If I wasn't doing that, I was counting how long I could go without eating at all, or burning off empty calories at the gym. Fun way to spend your senior year of high school, right?
I know they mention nothing about eating disorders in the temple recommend interviews, but they do mention the Word of Wisdom, which I obviously wasn't following. Even after I joined the church, I still struggled with my eating disorder behaviors. I truly believe that if I didn't have the Church, especially the temple, I WOULD NOT have stayed as strong in my recovery as I have.
There have been too many days where I contemplate using eating disorder behaviors, and immediately think of the temple. I understand that everyone has their agency, and some people choose to neglect the Word of Wisdom and attend the temple because they have their temple recommend. However, for me personally, if I were to give into my eating disorder, I would NOT feel worthy enough to enter those doors anymore. I just couldn't do it. And I need the temple more than anything else (Elder Kent F. Richards, "The Power of Godliness," April 2016).
I recognize that there are many church members who struggle to be worthy of a temple recommend. Some church members have had a temple recommend, and ended up getting the it revoked for some reason. I understand that getting a temple recommend, or earning one back, might be an easy task for some, and aseemingly never-ending struggle to others. Satan is strong, and he attacks us in various ways: addiction, family struggles, financial difficulties, etc. These struggles are a normal part of mortality, but when theyaffect our relationship with our Father in Heaven, that's when they become a concern.
So what do you do when you want to attend the temple, but aren't able to?
1. Keep Meeting With Your Bishop
2. Keep a Picture of the Temple
3. Pay Attention to the Promptings of the Holy Ghost
4. Try Your Best to Improve Your Habits
5. Don't give up.
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